The Commission is chaired by former Education Secretary Estelle Morris, Baroness of Yardley, who told an audience of Liverpool headteachers and education stakeholders at the BT Convention Centre that it has been tasked with:
- Reviewing Liverpool’s progress and achievement against national and international benchmarks
- Identifying areas of underachievement and groups that need more support
- Setting a vision for the education of young people in the city
- Working with schools and partners to respond to the Government’s agenda of school autonomy, and building on the successful partnership between schools and the local authority
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool has made tremendous strides in education over the last few years. Exam results are at record levels with GCSE results better than the national average. We have more schools classed as good or outstanding by OFSTED than any other big city and none are failing.
“But despite the progress, we are not complacent and I want every child in the city to achieve their full potential.
“The Commission will come up with a series of recommendations to identify how we can go further and faster, and make sure every child gets the opportunity to leave school with relevant qualifications that enable them to forge a decent career.”
The Commission is being supported by a wider group representing Liverpool headteachers and governors, Liverpool Community College, the Diocese and Archdiocese and trade unions.
Commission Chair, Estelle Morris, said: “The last time I worked with Liverpool over a decade ago, there was considerable concern about the level of achievement. Now, thanks to the strong partnership between the city council and schools, it is a service that has seen substantial progress.
“This is a pivotal moment for education in Liverpool due to the significant and wide ranging shift in the Government education agenda. There has never been a more timely and appropriate moment to take stock of where we are and be clear about our ambitions for the future.
“The Commission is looking forward to working with those involved in education in Liverpool to devise a series of recommendations, for the Mayor and others to consider.”
The Conference also heard from Professor David Woods and Dame Sue John, who are both highly respected for their work in raising standards. They talked about their role with the London Challenge, raising standards in schools in the capital.
The Commission will take evidence from a cross section of expert witnesses including young people, businesses, universities and cultural institutions, and members will visit a variety of schools within the city.
It will submit an interim report by Christmas and final recommendations for the Mayor in Spring 2013 with clear principles and practical recommendations for the city council, the Department for Education and the Liverpool Learning Partnership.
At the event – at the BT Convention Centre – the new Liverpool Learning Partnership was launched. It will see schools, academies and the local authority all working together on a set of agreed standards.